It’s All About Me – a reflection

It’s been a year since I started this blog, and I read through my About page again recently, wondering if it still describes me and what I want this to be. I sound desperately aspirational and keen, don’t I?

I’m still behind all those things, but what I seem to be writing about is less my life in the sticks, and more stuff I happen to have cooked. Though I do often buy the ingredients sustainably from local markets or have grown it myself. I’m not sure if I’m a food blog, a lifestyle thing or a gardening blog. All the advice I read suggests picking a single subject and sticking with it, be focussed and post regularly. The latter hasn’t been an issue so far; there are plenty of drafts that don’t see the light of day due to questionable reader interest levels!

Perhaps I need to change the name of my blog? Since I seem to spend a lot of time preserving stuff, perhaps the title should reflect this a little more closely…How about “Completely Pickled”, with a tagline of ‘oodles of fermentable stuff, with a bit of jam chucked in’? Or maybe just ‘LeftHandedChopsticks – ramblings of an expat to me mates back home’?

Maybe it doesn’t matter. I’m enjoying the writing, I know my friends back home are enjoying reading, and that’s as much as I ever hoped for this. Fame and fortune never were my drivers. What I would really love though, and I read this a lot from other bloggers, is to hear more from my readers. What bits do you like? What stuff makes you roll your eyes? What bits make you come back and carry on following (tell me – so I can do more of those!)?

I love Sydney to bits; after 7 years it’s still my favourite city in the world. Obviously I’d love all my UK chums to come out here to live! Having moved to a much less fashionable suburb in the Central Coast, I do also want to advertise how gorgeous this area of the world is. It’s looked down upon by Sydney – the number of times I get the blank look and a flat ‘….oh’ from Inner West people when I tell them where I’ve moved to is depressing.

Because it’s stunning here. I have to pinch myself, regularly, as I commute across the Hawkesbury River and enjoy the view around Mullett Creek on the train, as we cycle around Brisbane Water, as we drink coffee in Ettalong and buy our local, organic food from The Entrance, Avoca or Woy Woy markets. Maybe that is an expat thing – where I come from, we’re packed in like sardines, and to get gorgeous vistas, we need to spend 10 hours in traffic to get to the Lake District, or Wales. (sorry Cornwall, Scotland et al, you’re all lovely too but I didn’t know you as well). Here, I walk out my door and there it all is.

So – go on! Tell me what you think! I’d love to hear everyone’s point of view. In the meantime, I’m going to continue on with my foodie ramblings and extolling the virtues of life in modern Aus.


2 thoughts on “It’s All About Me – a reflection

  1. As you know, I love reading these blogs. It’s an insightful guide in to all things Central-Coasty/Sydney from a food lover’s perspective, delivered in a joyful & unique way. I like the experimentation and inquisitiveness of your style – you don’t hector – I like the way you say ‘this is what it’s like from my point of view’, and I like the variety of topics. Over time it’s building up in to a broad and accessible catalogue of food related ‘stuff’ by someone who clearly enjoys the process of growing food, and thinking about the process of procuring and producing food, as well as how food is a pleasure to relished. With relish.
    I rarely follow recipes, but I have tried the Middle Eastern eggy thing a couple of times and it’s a great supper dish. I would like to see more of your recipes and learn about how you work out what you’re going to do, and where you get your own inspiration from. Do you read cookery books, and if so do you have any advice abut them. Personally they freak me out and I wish one would just talk about cookery styles and flavours rather than make me work out how to reduce everything to serve just two people, and, y’know, I’d like to know 101 ways with left-over carrot. Yes, I know about baking them with honey and cumin. What else?
    All in all though – as well as being about food per se – the blogs offer a cultural insight. I like your coverage of local markets, or of courses you take, and of what options are available to you locally. I may not be able to enjoy all the places you talk about; the restaurants and whatever, but I do find reading what you say insightful and inspiring.
    I am looking forward to your entries post Japan!

    • Thank you so much for your response! LOVE feedback! I did get a bunch of very gratifying comments on facebook (thanks everyone) but it’s lovely to have it here too. Apologies for not replying sooner; been a bit hectic of late in the House of Chopsticks, but normal service will be resumed soon.

      So pleased you tried the middle eastern eggs – I’ve cooked it many times now for ‘2’ days on the fast day diet, and actually cut the preserved lemon from it and turned it a bit more towards italy, or sometimes spain (I’m imagining here that adding smoked paprika makes it more Spanish-y!!). Works well regardless.

      I have a lot of cookery books, and like you, I’m a touch divided about them. I love having them, but often my enthusiasm wanes once they’re on the shelf, and it’s hard to pick them up again. It’s because I’m an ingredients cook. I see an ingredient, at a market or whatever, and shape everything else around it. Then it’s too much faff to look up that ingredient in the index of every book I own…this results in my either turning to a trusted one I use all the time or grab the iPad and look one up. Usually the latter. iPads killed the cookery book! Cookery books are great if you start out with the intention of making a particular recipe and go out and get all the ingredients. I never do that any more! I probably should. I did read about some app – sounded ideal – where you plug in all the recipe books you own up front, then when you want to look something up you do so on the app (was it a website??) and it looks through all your recipe book indexes for you. Genius! But you had to subscribe, and all that telling it what books you own set up seemed…dull. So I never got round to it.

      If anyone else has, please let me know what you think of it?

      Oh and carrots? Lavender. Trust me. But not too much!

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